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IUCN AND WWF PAKISTAN
This document should be cited as follows:
Yahya M. Musakhel, A.A. Abro and Mengal, N; Impacts of Hingol Dam Project on Hingol National Park and its Environment pp 22.
Balochistan Programme Office Marker House, Zarghoon Road Quetta, Pakistan Tel: ++92-812840451 Fax: ++92-81-2820706
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Impacts of Hingol Dam Project on Hingol National Park and its Environment Joint Study Report Prepared by Mohammad Yahya Musakhel (Filed Biologist) District Coordinator IUCN – BPSD - Qila Saifullah Dr. Altaf A. Abro, Ph. D. Manager Conservation Sindh, WWF- Pakistan Noor Khan Mengal District Coordinator IUCN –BPSD – Lasbella
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Table of Contents List of Map List of Plates and Annexure ACKNOWLEDGMENTS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1. Brief Description of Hingol National Park 1.1. Physical and Climatic conditions 1.2. Rationale and Objectives of the Study 2. Description of wildlife habitat in surroundings of Dam area 2.1 Lower Hingol and Estuary 2.2. Central Hingol Plains and Valleys 2.3. The Northern Plains, North of Pol Dat 2.4. Tranch mountains and Valleys and Surroundings 2.5 The Nali Mountains 2.6. The Tranch Valley 3. Vegetation and Flora 3.1. Estuarine Saline Sandy areas and mud flats 2.1 Lower Hingol and Estuary 3.2. Coastal Plains 3.3. Riverian Areas 3.4. Inland Sand Dunes areas 3.5 Lower Mountains Plateaus , Valleys and Ravines 4. Species of Major Conservation Interest Endangered Species 5. The Hingol Dam Project 5.1 Effects of Hingol Dam Project on Park and Its Resources 5.2 . Positive Impacts of Dam 5.3. Impacts of Dam during Construction Period 5.4. Impacts on Ecology and Ecosystems 5.5. Interrupting Natural Cycle 5.6. Fragmentation of River Ecosystems 5.7. Sedimentation behind the Dam 5.8. River line and Coastal Erosion 5.9. Striving the River 5.10. Water Temperature 5.11. After effects of Dam 6. The Pakistan Environmental Protection Act, 1997 6.1 Environment and Constitution of 1973 of Pakistan x 6.2 . Environmental Laws related to Forest and Wildlife 6.3. Balochistan Wildlife Protection Act 1974 6.4. Balochistan Wildlife Protection, Preservation, Conservation Management Act 1996. 7. Findings and recommendations 8. Conclusion REFERENCES
National parks help to take care of places with natural and historical value. Unlike humans, who are extremely good at surviving in all sorts of conditions, some plants and animals find it very difficult, or impossible, to survive in areas where their habitat has been disturbed or changed. A national park preserves habitats for a wide range of native plants and wildlife and maintains biodiversity, protects endangered species and provides people with opportunities to learn about natural flora and fauna as well as to explore and admire the beauty of diverse environments Hingol National park is the largest park of Pakistan. The drainage of Hingol National Park area is mainly to the Hingol River and is located in the center of the park. The Water and Power Development Authority Pakistan is going to construct dam on Hingol river on Qasum Goth 17 Km upward from Agore, which is called the heart of Hingol National Park by mean thick vegetation stands of Tamarix aphylla, T. indica, T. dioica, Urochondra setulosa, Sporobolus kenthrophyllus, Dactulotenium aristatum and Ochthochloa compressa, Arthrocnemum sp., Prosopis cineraria, Acacia nilotica and Acacia Senegal; habitats of Urial, Chinkara and Sind Ibex. Rivers possess a delicate ecology that depends on a regular cycle of disturbance within certain tolerances. The plant and animal communities that inhabit the river and river margins have evolved to adapt to their rivers own peculiar pattern of flood and drought, slow and fast current.
Large dams degrade the integrity of a wide variety of ecosystems and dam also acts as a barrier between the upstream and downstream habitats. The areas surrounding riverbanks are of a particularly rich biodiversity, supported by the natural flooding of a dam-free river. Dammed rivers reduce flood rates, and this has negative consequences on the floodplains downstream that depend on seasonal waters for survival. The comparatively invariable ecosystem created by a reservoir-river supports a far-reduced range of wildlife. Dams hold back sediments that would replenish downstream ecosystems naturally. Endemic species may or may not survive the environmental change, and new species are likely to adopt the altered habitat as a home. However, since dams change a key ecosystem to which all surrounding ecosystems have adapted, dam construction nearly always reduces wildlife diversity, for better or for worse.
Brief Description of the Hingol National Park
The Hingol National park is one of the 219 Protected Areas of Pakistan, is located in parts of the districts of Lasbela, Awaran and Gwadar in Balochistan Province. The park was notified originally in 1988 and it total area was 16500 hectors ; Aghore to Pol Dat, main Hingol river, valleys draining to the Hingol River including at the west the Aryan River, the Mazaro River, Kundrach and Sham West river, and from the east the Jacki, Kullit, Hudder, Pucheri and Sham East rivers. The flat plains areas in side valleys are extensive in the Dandel area of the Pucheri valley between Shur and Tranche, and in the Lowari area. In 1997 the it was re-notified in light of study and survey of Mr. Richard Garstang and the areas Dhrun (a separate National Park, Awaran), Ormara Tehsil of Gwader and Arabian Sea and covers a total area of 619,043 ha. It is the largest park of Pakistan. The area is basically southern extension of Sibi desert having extensive patches of drift sand scattered throughout the region. The park provides habitat for a number of threatened and endangered species belonging to marine, estuarine and terrestrial fauna, such as olive ridley, green turtle, Masheer fish, Houbara bastard, spot-billed pelican, Dalmatian pelican, Plumbeous dolphin, Balochistan Urial, Ibex, Chinkara, pangolin, leopard, innumerable resident and migratory birds and on-site estuarine wildlife such as water-birds, mugger crocodile, aquatic invertebrates and fish species.etc. Flora of the area includes trees like Kirri, Kand or Jand, Kikar, Acacia, Salvadora, Zizyphus, etc. Over the years, with increasing human settlements and improved communication adjacent to the park area along with frequent visits of hunters, population of some wild animals has reached the threshold of extinction. These include hyena, leopard and wolf. Lack of predators has allowed the jackals, foxes, porcupines, rats, etc. to increase rapidly in number. It gets low rainfall, varying from 100 to 200 mm per year. The Hingol River runs through the park and before disgorging into the Arabian Sea forms an estuary which provides habitat to migratory water birds and marsh crocodiles. It also provides habitat for a number of threatened and endangered species belonging to marine, estuarine and terrestrial fauna, such as olive ridley, green turtle, Masheer fish, Houbara bastard, spotbilled pelican, Dalmatian pelican, Plumbeous dolphin, Balochistan Urial, Ibex, Chinkara, pangolin, leopard, etc. Flora of the area includes trees like Kirri, Kand or Jand, Kikar, Acacia, Salvadora, Zizyphus, etc. The park area is inhabited by about 3,000 households, scattered in 1,70 hamlets and villages of various sizes (locally known as Goths). The inhabitants, except the fishermen living in coastal area, almost entirely depend on the resources of the park. The area is utilized by them for fishing, livestock grazing, and fuel wood and drinking water
collection. The households represent various tribal groups and subgroups called Degarzai, Angaria, Kurd, Chanal, Mingiani, Omradi, Bezenjo, etc. Most of the inhabitants of the park area speak Balochi, with the exception of the people living in Mauza Phore who speak Lassi. The interior of the park is devoid of any road and other infrastructure. There is no transport service, and camels provide the only means for mobility of people and commodities into and within the park.
Physical and Climatic Conditions The Hingol National Park, largest national park of Pakistan, comprises Lakhda Tehsil of Lasbela District, Jhal Jhao Tehsil of Awaran District and Ormara Tehsil of Gwadar District in Balochistan Province of Pakistan. The park area is characterized by sand dunes, beaches, sandy inter-tidal, estuary, mudflats, and rocky shore. It can be classified into coastal salt marshes, coastal arid scrubland, and barren calcareous hills. The park is a favorable habitat for important biodiversity in plant, wildlife and birds, some of which have become endangered as a consequence of hunting and human habitation. The climate of the interior of the park is subject to considerable variations. The months of April to September constitute the summer, May and June being the hottest months when maximum temperature exceeds 43° C. The annual maximum temperature inside the park area is 35.8° C. The winter months are October to January when temperature ranges from 11° C minimum to 34° C maximum. The secondary climatic data shows that the minimum temperature recorded was 8.3° C in the month of January 1994, while the average annual minimum temperature was 18.6° C for that year. The coastal area of the park has a more moderate and moist climate. The northwestern wind prevails there from October to February. The weather becomes hot during April and May. Rainfall is sparse and generally occurs in summer during June through August. It varies between 100 and 200 mm per year. The secondary data on rainfall shows that the maximum precipitation noted in the recent past was 192.6 mm in July 1995, which was close to the total annual rainfall of 205.6 mm. Rationale and Objectives of the study The study was design to contribute pertinent environmental information which attempts to identify, predict and assess the likely consequences of proposed construction of Hingol dam, affecting the environment, biodiversity and habitats of national park.
Description of wildlife habitat types in surroundings of Dam Construction area Lower Hingol and Estuary The lower Hingol flood plain and Estuary area include the area south of Aghore bridge. The Hingol River has a tidal regime up to about Aghore Bridge and the mountain ridge of Sangal-Kund Malir. The estuary is about 1 km wide with two main channels. The east side of the estuary is used by the fishermen of Wuadh Bandar who use the estuary for boat landings. The estuary has sandy soils and in some parts with clay layers. Both floodplain areas are flanked by relative diverse and dense vegetation in the coastal plains. The estuary is a major bird area. About half of the birds species sighted so far are related to water and mainly to the lower Hingol estuary zone. Crocodiles go down just south of the Aghore bride near the Coast guard Camp. Central Hingol plains and Valleys The Central Hingol area is located between Aghore and Pol Dat. The area is defined by the highly flood prone areas starting from the Aghore gate in the Sangal-Kund Malir ridge and ending at the gorge in the Goran Gutti –Kullit Mountain ridge. Within the area there are two other (less) narrow gaps including one at the Lowari ridge and one of Ghor Kay Koh both blocking the streams between the Nani Hinglaj area and the Tranch area. It comprises the heart of the Hingol Park with the main Hingol River and several side valleys draining to the Hingol River including at the west the Aryan River, the Mazaro River, Kundrach and Sham West river, and from the east the Jacki, Kullit, Hudder, Pucheri and Sham East rivers. The flat plains areas in side valleys are extensive in the Dandel area of the Pucheri valley between Shur and Tranche, and in the Lowari area. The competition between wildlife and people is most severe in the Central Hingol area. People very much depend on the ephemeral pools of the Hingol river. Similarly the wildlife from the side valleys and Hingol flood banks depend much upon the water pools of the main Hingol River, as most of the side valleys run out of fresh water during long dry periods. A few pools are habitat to crocodiles a.o the Bojh area east of the Aryan valley, North of the Lowary ridge, and the pool north of the Sangal-Kund Malir gorge just north of Aghore. The side valley with the highest potential for wildlife in central Hingol area is the Aryan and the Pacheri valleys, as well as the Mazaro Gorge in the Hinglaj block. The Central Hingol Flood plain itself has still left large track of Tamarix forest and is of major importance to wildlife. Wildlife found in this area are; Ibex, chinkara, Urial, Sand fox, wolf and Marsh Crocodile. The flood plains are intensively used for grazing and agriculture.
The Northern Plains, North of Pol Dhat The northern plains are defined as the area between the Pol Dhat gorge / Goran GuttiKullit Mountains at the south side and the Dhrun-Rodaine-Kacho Mountains at the North side. In this area the main tributaries of the Hingol river come together including the Ara R. the Mari-Babro R, the Parken R and the min river Hingol or Nal River. In particular the Nal-Hingol river has large ephemeral pools and provide a habitat for crocodiles. The northern slopes of Goran Gutti and Kullit Mountain are moist area with relative more wildlife potential. The flood plains are partly carrying dense vegetation of Panicum grasses and provide the best habitat for Chinkara. Several groups of Chinkara are still existing in the Nal-Parken R plains N. of Pol Dhat. Also Leopard is reported from areas N of Pol Dhat to the east in the Mari R. area. Tranch mountain valleys and surroundings Tranche has several different landscape ecological units each with their own wildlife. The Mountain areas around the Tranch valley include in the North the Nali Koh and Durgi Koh areas, in the East the Soruti Koh, in the south the Kari Koh and Chedesk or Cheresk Koh and in the west the Burzain Koh the latter connects with the Kullit Koh area. The Tranch valley is the largest valley within the park located east of the Hingol River. The central part is relative bare and degraded and heavily populated. The Nali mountain area is also having permanent water sources and is used for dry season grazing. The villages of Lakoo Goth , Hammal Goth are the main users of this area. Both the Nali mountain and the Durgi Koh-Dozekh area adjoin the Babro Kore area. Other grazing areas used in the mountains are Delamar by Musu Goth, Jacki by Dilmurad, Kharoo and Laku Goth,Machi (Nali). The Tranche valley area has large areas of ripple plains with little wildlife. Several villages are located on riffle terraces near water sources. Bird species include Sandgrouse (e.g. Crowned Sandgrouse Pterocles coronatus : Brown necked raven Corvus ruficollis is gathering in and around villages. All bird species are in low numbers and thinly spread and include further Desert Wheatear Oenanthe deserti and Southern Grey Shrike Lanius meridionalis. Cape Hare Lepus capensis frequents the plains where scarce vegetations are found at sandy shallow gully areas on the ripple plains and in sandy riverbeds. Vegetation and Flora The vegetation of the Hingol National Park is closely related to the landscape ecological units in the Park. The main vegetated areas are in the small zones of the valleys, the floodplains, riverbeds, and more extensive area of the coastal plains. Most ecological units are bare or almost bare including the mud flats, the salt plains, the clay mountains and mud vent areas, the stone rippled terraces, and the smooth slopes of brown clay rock mountains ridges.
The overall species diversity is low, including in the coastal zone and sandy streambeds and flood plains. It is more diverse in the relative moist deeply incised mountain valleys and northern slopes of mountains, and higher altitude valleys Estuarine Saline Sandy areas and mud flats The vegetation of the sandy saline flood plain area from Aghore to Wuadh Bandar up to the bare estuary area is limited to mainly three species, including Tamarix sultanii; The Tamarix is bushy with short height. Seventy percent of the flood plain is covered with Tamarix sulthonii. A peculiar plant called Garel in Balochi was observed in area covering large patches of soil. This probably the Arthrocnemum sp. (dense cover on mudflats and lateral drainage lines). Its foliage is similar to Salsola and Haloxylon thick and succulent. On the dry sandy saline shore there is Urochondra setulosa an interesting grass, which is common here. It has long spikes and roots coated with sand. Also found here is the grasses Sporobolus kenthrophyllus, Dactulotenium aristatum and Ochthochloa compressa. Other scrubs in this area include Heliotropium crispum, Haloxylon sp. and Salsola sp. Coastal Plains The coastal area has several subunits including high active dunes, vegetated high dunes, micro dunes medium and small size, flat vegetated areas and bare salt flats and mud clay flats. The vegetation of the coastal plain with flat areas and micro small dunes is relative more species rich and dense in the areas between Aghore and Wuadh Bandar and the area north of Sappat and in the eastern part of the Phore valley and towards to Phore river estuary. The vegetation behind the flood plain has apart from the abundant Tamarix sp. other species including Haloxylon sp. Aerva sp. Panicum sp. and Suaeda sp . The Mesquite Prosopis juliflora has spread into the coastal plains with a few individual trees up to Wuadh Bandar and into the Dune area. Elsewhere the mesquite occurs along the Mekran coastal highway in the coastal plain. The vegetation of the high vegetated dunes near the estuary is characterized by Haloxylon sp. Eliosine grass and a bush with thick succulent leaves called Regil in Balochi ( probably Arthocnemum sp. as reported by Dr. Rubina Akhtar) Riverain areas The riverain areas of the Lower Hingol are up to Chenai have a mixed dense forest of Tamarix spp. Prosopis cineraria (Kand) and the aggressive exotic Prosopis juliflora (Mesquite). The mesquite has not spread yet north of Allah Bukhs Gott in Chenai, but it is abundant in the riverain areas of Aghore up to Mulai Bhent.
The riverain areas N. of Mulai Bhent in the Chenai area have Prosopis cineraria, Tamarix spp., Acacia nilotica, A. jacquemontii Capparis deciduas (uncommon), and date palm (uncommon). Among the bushes dominant was Haloxylon sp. , Aerva javanica, Suaeda sp., Heliotropium sp. Grewia domaine, Alhaji cameleron and small leguminous bush. The main grass species were Panicum spp. Eliosine, Lasiurus sp. and Cenchrus sp. Several Tamarix species are mentioned to occur in the Riverain forest including Tamarix aphylla (Common in dry riverbeds), T. indica, T. dioica (Uncommon sometimes together with T. aphylla), Tamarix stricta (an endemic confined to South Iran and Mekran Balochistan) and an yet unidentified species with pretty pink spike of flowers cf. kermanensis. The sandy stream bed of the main river in Tranche the Durgai Kore on the western side of the valley had good cover of Tamarix spp. Tamarisks are growing on the banks as well as in the bed particularly on the sand bars. Regeneration of Tamarix was also observed on the sand bars. Prosopis cineraria trees were in found in good condition. Saccharum spontaneum and S. munja was also observed on the banks. The vegetation of the Hingol river bed and flood plain near Lal Bukhs Goth is relative dense and the main tree species were T amarix spp., Prosopis cineraria, Salvadora oleoides with associated bush species; Haloxylon spp., Aerva sp. and common grasses were Panicum antedotae, Cenchrus setigerus, Eliosine flagella, Lasiurus, Sporobolus sp., Saccharum spontaneum, Desmostachya sp. and Aristida. The tree cover was about 60 % with main Tamarix species and dominant grass was Panicum sp. Some of the flood plain area was cleared and used for agriculture. The vegetation of the Aryan valley was good in the streambed and flood plain of Aryan river. The main tree species were Tamarix spp., Salvadora persica and S. oleoides, Prosopis cineraria and Zizyphus nummularea. The bush species include Haloxylon spp. Heliotropium sp., Sueda sp., Aerva sp., Rhazia stricta, Inula grantoides, Alhaji cammunleron, Grewia domaine, Myro and Kharwan Kush . Among the grasses prominent species were Lasiurus sp. Cymbopogon sp. cenchrus sp. Panicum spp., Eliosine sp. Saccharum spontaneum, Desmostachya sp. and Aaser (grass species). The vegetation in the riverbeds of the upstream tributaries of the Hingol River including the Arra Kore, Mari Kore- Babro Kore, Nal Kore and Parken Kor carry vegetations of Tamarix spp., Ziziphus nummularea, Acacia jaquemontii, Savadora oleoide, and Nannorhops ritchieana (Mazri palm). The latter plant species is typically seen at elevation above some 200/250 feet asl. It is locally very common and much used by local people for making mats, roofing of tents (Gedang). Other bush species include Haloxylon recurvum, Aerva sp., Grewia domaine, Alhaji cameliron and Rhazia stricta . The grass species were Cynodon dactylon, Eliosine flagella, Cenchrus setigerus, Cymbopogon and Panicum antedotale.
Inland Sand Dune Area A large sand dune area is found at the eastern side of the Tranch valley West of and parallel to the Soruti Mountain called “Rek Koh”. The plant species found on the dunes were; Tree species: Prosopis cineraria, Salvadora oleoides, Zizyphus nummularia, “Kotar” Bush species: Euphorbia caudicifolia, Haloxylon sp. (two types one with white flowers and other with pink flowers), Calligonum polygonoides, Commiphora mukal(gugul), Heliotropium sp. (merin), Aerva javanica (Gujo). At the edge of the sand dunes on river bank: Inula montaine (kulumurak), Grewia domaine (chill) Myro (A leguminous small bush) and Rhazia stricta were also found. Grass Species: Among the grasses the main species on the sand dunes were Eliosine (gundil), Aristida sp (Nadak) and Chrysopogon sp (Boch), Lowland Mountain Plateaus, Valley and Ravines The vegetation of deeply incised valleys such as Nani Kore and Mazaro Kore had a variety of plants that were not visible in other areas of Hingol River valley. The main change in the tree cover was appearance of Acacia senegal and new bushes were seen in the river bed and bank. Acacia senegal is the typical tree species of the ravines and mountain valleys. It was not seen at the Hingol river and side valley flood plains. The tree species noted in the Mazaro valley were Prosopis cineraria, Salvadora oleoides, Tamarix sp., and Zizyphus nummularia. The bushes include Haloxylon, sp. Commiphora sp. Rhazia stricta, Nerium sp. Inula grantoides, Leptodenia sp., Alhaji cameleron, Aerva sp., Ganji, Taverniera nummularia (Lanti), Leyo, Maspil, Jurati, Kunehro (smelling leaves), Karak ( broad leaves, crussiferae), Karkao (large leaves like Karak), Khusum, Kirtuk (thorny bush may be Lycium. The mountain slopes of Aneel Koh / Nani Koh have sparse vegetation but small valleys have fair vegetation cover. The main species found the Nani koh were; Acacia senegal, Commiphora, Prosopis cineraria, Capparis aphylla, Zizyphus nummularia, Euphorbia sp. Aerva javanica, Inula grantoides, Alhaji cameleron, Leptodenia sp. Eliosine sp., Lasiurus sp. Cymbopogon sp. and Panicum sp. The deep and moist gorges have a relative dense vegetation of trees and bushes and are relative rich in species.
Species of major conservation interest “Endangered and endemic species” Hyena Hyena Hyena hyena is reported from upper Pucheri and from Northern Tranch.(Dozekh area). It may also still occur in the Aryan area and the Babro Kore area. It occurred before widespread at the coastal area and in the valleys and several mountain areas. Hyena is classified as a Lower Risk –Nearly Threatened Species (LR/NT). This means that worldwide its survival is possible but this depends much upon conservation efforts. Urial IUCN Red List mentions the status of this species as “Vulnerable” (VU). The current Urial population in Hingol seem to be mainly or only be restricted to Upper Pacheri/Deko-Biaro area. There are no reports about former or recent existence in other parts of the park. This gives an increased conservation importance to the Pucheri and Deko-Biaro area. Ibex Ibex Capra aegrarus is classified as “Vulnerable” (VU). Populations are however increasing in many conservation areas, when hunting gets controlled. Within Hingol NP Ibex s still widespread inhabiting all mountain ranges. It is believed to be again quite numerous in the Hinglaj-Nani Mountains due to effective protection measures since a number of years. However, most mountain ranges have a depleted Ibex population due to hunting and recent long drought periods. Chinkara Chinkara Gazella bennettii remnant populations seems still to occur at a few places e.g., Sapat, Phore valley, Upper Sham-Machi mountain. Good populations still occur at Aryan and North of Pol Dhat, while more area in the river plains between the RodaineKacho-Dhrun and Goran Gutti-Kullit Koh need to be explored. The international protection status of Chinkara is “Least Concern” However, for Hingol major attention is needed for this species. Leopard The persistent sightings of Leopard Panthera pardus give good hope that they still survive in the Park and possible survive at more than one area. Recent reports mention sightings of footprints in the Mazaro area and the Mari-Babro Kor area. The main concerns are prevention of hunting and to build up a good food source for the Leopard including Chinkara, Urial, Ibex. However for Hingol major concern is needed not to lose this important predator which has like other predators a major role in the ecosystem.
Wolf The Indian Wolf Canis lupus pallides is Endangered species They are in fast decline as people persecute the wolf to protect their livestock. Wolves used still to be common some 20 years ago in the Upper Hingol-Nal-Ara and Aryan areas. They have been decimated during the last tow decennia and only a few individual are believed to survive within Hingol NP. Honey Badger Honey badger Melivora capensis is reported for the area of the coastal plain between Aghore and Wuadh Bandar. One of the main problems with honey badger is that nobody seem to sympathise with this species, which is localled “Ghor Pat” which means “Grave Digger” The international protection status of the honey badger is “indetermined” due to Data Deficiency (DD). It distribution is from South Africa to Asia. In Pakistan and several other countries is rare, and has already become locally extinct in many places. Indian Pangolin Indian Pangolin Manis crassicaudata still occur in the park. A track which could be of this species was found in the Pucheri Valley . Balochistan Gerbil The Balochistan Gerbil Gerbillus nana need attention as it is a limited range species occurring only in the Balochistan Mekran area. Thus for its protection it is much depended upon Hingol National Park. It is thought to be common in the coastal areas with micro sand dunes . Sand Fox Sand Fox Vulpes rüeppellii is widely distributed species occurring in desert areas from Marocca in NW Africa through the Middle East and has its Eastern boundaries in Southern Balochistan, probably at Ormara or possibly inside the Hingol NP. The Large Sand dune area “Rek Koh” in the Tranche valley was mentioned as a possible area with two Fox species. The international status is “undetermined” due to “Data Deficiency” (DD). In Pakistan it is regarded as endangered. Sand Cat The Sand Cat Felis margarita is reported from several areas in the Park. Populations are thought to be declining. Local people know this species locally called “Gur Bagh” or “Thick Face” well. The international protection status of the Sand Cat is “Ne arly Threatened” (NT).
Marsh Crocodile The Marsh Crocodile Crocodylus palustris is a fresh water crocodile. Its original distribution is Sri Lanka, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Iran. In Sri Lanka the Mugger or Marsh Crocodile has been exterminated in the wild. In other countries, including in Pakistan, only a few remnant populations survive. The international Status Is “Vulnerable”. The Hingol population is probably some 20 individuals, which survive in the few ephemeral pools of the Hingol River. The common threats observed during the survey are fragmentation of habitat, long drought spell, animosity, lack of awareness and hunting for hide. Crocodile conservation became necessary because crocodile plays a vital role as a master predator in the aquatic habitat where it lives. The Hingol Dam Project Hingol dam project is an initiative of Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) and the prime objectives of the dam construction in National Park are; a. Effective regulation of Hingol river, the largest river of Balochistan. b. Irrigation of 90,000 acres of barren lands along the coastal highway in Lasbella district. c. Generation of 738 KW electricity. d. Improving the socioeconomic conditions of the local population. The total height of designed dam was 170 ft, reservoir area 37147 Acers and length of main canal was 69 miles followed by 30 No’s minor canals of 90 miles. The Hinglaj Mata Temple (The worship and holy place of Hindu community) was come in the reservoir area. Due to this issue, the dam plan was postponed and shifted to interior of the park. The new proposed site located 17 km interior of Higol National Park. The dike will be constructed between Meski hills up to Dandale hills. The proposed site for canal is Pacheri via Drabi, Sangal up to coastal areas up-to Liari.
Effects of Hingol Dam Project on Park and its resources Large dams degrade the integrity of a wide variety of ecosystems. The direct downstream effects of dams have received the most attention from ecosystem managers and researchers but in case of Hingol Dame, upstream effect is worse because several ecosystems will be ruined. Rivers possess a delicate ecology that depends on a regular cycle of disturbance within certain tolerances. The plant and
animal communities that inhabit the river and river margins have evolved to adapt to their river’s own peculiar pattern of flood and drought, slow and fast current. Dams disrupt this ecology. Hingol dam project is located in the heart of National Park and the interior of park provides good habitats of Ibex, Chinkara, Urial, Marsh Crocodiles, foxes and resident and migratory birds. This is the only refuge of wild animals because of presence of Coast Guard and Wildlife Check posts at Agore. Due to hunting pressure, the animals especially ungulates move to interior of the park. The per/sq. kilometer data is presented in the table No. 1. Wild animals are shy and they cannot survive in the presence of heavy machinery, infrastructure and huge human population presence. According to project document, main canal will be passed through Pachery to Sangal and the total length is 69 miles, followed by 90 miles three minor canals will also be passed inside the habitats of Ibex, Urial and Chinkara. The refuge of wild animals will be convert in to agric lands. Table No. 1: Large mammal Density (km2) S. No 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Area Nani Koh Babbro Kur Ara Kour Rodini Kacho Dharun Valley Harian –Goran Ghatti Pacheri Average Density
Urial --0.61 0.66 0.37 -0.46 5.34 7.44
Chinkara -0.98 3.00 0.33 -0.92 -5.23
Ibex 39.1 --15.96 5.14 2.90 8.23 71.33
Large Mammals Survey of Hingol national Park 2006
Possible impacts of Hingol dam on diversity of Hingol National Park are as follow; 1. Positive Impacts of Dam 2. Impacts of dam During Construction Period 3. Impacts on Ecology and Ecosystems 4. Impacts beyond the dam Positive Impacts of Dam Dams, which contribute to the national economy from many aspects like irrigation, drinking water supply, flood control, electricity generation, fishing, tourism, are also effective in increasing the living and culture level of the region that they were constructed. Meanwhile, the new environment created by the dam also supports the arrival of different species to the area. Dams are not only important in economical growth, but also in overall economical and moral development. In many developed countries, dams have performed a key role in the development of the underdeveloped regions.
Impacts of dam during Construction Period Earthwork fill, spoil, and oil wastewater will affect the Hingol River’s water quality during construction. Machinery and vehicles will produce noise and consequently affect the wildlife. As the construction area is near the riverbank, mosquitoes and flies will propagate quickly and workers may be exposed to infectious diseases. Borrow pit, spoil, and original slope destruction may produce water and soil loss. The building of the dam will increase the amount of suspended matter in the surface water. Some sewage will also cause water pollution if inadequately treated. Noise will mostly come from transport vehicles and construction machines. Because the noise source is inside the core areas of the National Park it will significantly disturb the birds migrating, or wildlife inhabiting, breeding and looking for food. Destruction of plants on the earth’s surface, and construction may cause birds and wild animals to leave the area. Solid waste will mostly include blocks, concrete, excess soil, and livelihood garbage, bringing harmful environmental impacts. Temporarily occupied fields will destroy the surface plants, and cause water and soil losses. Once the surface plants are destroyed, encouraging natural regrowth of these plants will be difficult Impacts on Ecology and Ecosystems Interrupting Natural Cycles The first effect of a dam is to alter the pattern of disturbances that the plants and animals of a river have evolved for. Many aquatic animals coordinate their reproductive cycles with annual flood seasons. Every flood is valuable in that it takes nutrients from the land and deposits them in the river, providing food for the stream's residents. Floods also provide shallow backwater areas on vegetated and shaded riversides; the young of many animals depend on these backwaters to protect them from large predators. Vegetation, too, depends upon these regular cycles of flood. If the dame construction occurs the riparian vegetation, the vegetation bordering the river, changes forever. Where enormous floodplains of tamarisk and grasses and marsh have been replaced by dry and barren areas.
Fragmentation of river ecosystems Dam acts as a barrier between the upstream and downstream habitat of migratory river animals, block their migration upstream to spawn, threatening to decrease reproduction numbers and reduce the species population. Permanent inundation caused by reservoir flooding also alters the wetlands, forests and other habitats surrounding the river.
Further ecosystem disruption occurs along the banks of the river and downstream. The areas surrounding riverbanks are of a particularly rich bio-diversity, supported by the natural flooding of a dam-free river. Dammed rivers reduce flood rates, and this has negative consequences on the floodplains downstream that depend on seasonal waters for survival. The comparatively invariable ecosystem created by a reservoir-river supports a far-reduced range of wildlife. Dams hold back sediments that would replenish downstream ecosystems naturally. Endemic species may or may not survive the environmental change, and new species are likely to adopt the altered habitat as a home. However, since dams change a key ecosystem to which all surrounding ecosystems have adapted, dam construction nearly always reduces wildlife diversity, for better or for worse. Sedimentation behind the dam Rivers carry four different types of sediment down their riverbeds, allowing for the formation of riverbanks, river deltas, alluvial fans, braided rivers, oxbow lakes, levees and coastal shores. The construction of a dam blocks the flow of sediment downstream, leading to downstream erosion of these Sedimentary depositional environments, and increased sediment build-up in the reservoir. While the rate of sedimentation varies for each dam and each river, eventually all reservoirs develop a reduced water-storage capacity due to the exchange of storage space for sediment. River line and coastal erosion As all dams result in reduced sediment load downstream, a dammed river is said to be “hungry” for sediment. Because the rate of deposition of sediment is greatly reduced since there is less to deposit but the rate of erosion remains nearly constant, the water flow eats away at the river shores and riverbed, threatening shoreline ecosystems, deepening the riverbed, and narrowing the river over time. This leads to a compromised water table, reduced water levels, homogenization of the river flow and thus reduced ecosystem variability, reduced support for wildlife, and reduced amount of sediment reaching coastal plains and deltas. This prompts coastal erosion, as beaches are unable to replenish what waves erode without the sediment deposition of supporting river systems. Starving the River Dams hold back not only sediment, but also debris. The life of organisms (including fish) downstream depends on the constant feeding of the river with debris. This debris includes leaves, twigs, branches, and whole trees, as well as the organic remains of dead animals. Debris not only provides food, it provides hiding places for all sizes of animals and surfaces for phytoplankton and microorganisms to grow. Without flooding and without a healthy riparian zone, this debris will be scarce. Adding to the problem, although debris might come from the river above the dam, it is instead trapped in the reservoir, and never appears downstream. The bottom level of the food web is
removed. All in all, the loss of sediment and debris means the loss of both nutrients and habitat for most sea animals. Water temperature Temperature is another problem. Rivers tend to be fairly homogenous in temperature. Reservoirs, on the other hand, are layered. The water of a reservoir is usually warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer than it would be without a dam. As this water flows into its river, the altered temperature also affects the temperature of the river in Temperature Change in climate. This impacts the plant and animal life present in both the reservoir and the river, often creating environments that are unnatural to the endemic species. They are warm at the top and cold at the bottom. If water is released downstream, it is usually released from the bottom of the dam, which means the water in the river is now colder than it should be. Many macro invertebrates depend on a regular cycle of temperatures throughout the year. When we change that, we compromise their survival. After Effects of Dam beyond Once a dam is built and its reservoir is formed, the region that is served by the dam will be developed. In other words, it will be filled with fields, cities, roads, parking lots, and houses. This, unfortunately, destroys nature and turned nature into urban areas ultimately, the park area will turned into buildings, asphalt, and cement, but the reason people began moving there and there will no place, refuge and breading grounds for wild animals.
The Pakistan Environmental Protection Act, 1997 Pakistan Environmental Protection act, 1997 is the basic environmental law of Pakistan. The basic functions include enforcement of PEP Act, 1997, to establish national environmental policies and to ensure their implementation, approve national environmental quality standards, give direction to conserve biodiversity and renewable and non-renewable resources, consider the national environment report, and give directions to any person to stop any contravention of the Pakistan Environmental Protection Act, 1997. Environment and the 1973 constitution of Pakistan The executive and legislative powers of Federal and Provincial Governments are defined in the 1973 constitution of Pakistan. The constitution has given full power to both the Federal and Provincial Governments to make the laws covering environmental issues.
Environmental Laws related to Wildlife, Parks and Forests Pakistan’s wildlife laws include the following enactments: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Wildlife Birds and Animas Protection Act, 1912; WEST Pakistan Wildlife Protection Ordinance, 1959; West Pakistan Wildlife Protection Rule, 1961; Sind Wildlife Protection Ordinance, 1972; Balochistan Wildlife Protection Act, 1974, NWFP Wildlife Protection, conservation and Management Act, 1975, The Punjab Wildlife protection, Preservation, conservation and Management Act 1974. 8. The NWFP Wildlife protection, Preservation, conservation and Management Act 1974. 9. The NWFP Wildlife protection, Preservation, conservation and Management Act 1977 10. Islamabad Wildlife protection, Preservation, conservation and Management Ordinance 1979 11. Northern Areas Wildlife Preservation Act, 1975, 12. Azad Jamu and Kashmir Wildlife Preservation Act, 1975 13. The Forest Act, 1927 14. Pakistan Wild Birds and animal Protection Act, 1912 15. The West Pakistan Wildlife Protection ordinance, 1959 and rules, 1961. 16. Balochistan wildlife protection, Preservation, conservation and Management Act 1996.
Balochistan Wildlife Protection Act, 1974 This Act authorizes the Government of Balochistan to declare any area in Balochistan a National Park, Wildlife Sanctuary or a game reserve. Each status confers a specified degree of protection to wildlife and natural resources against exploitative practices such as killing or disturbing wildlife, effecting a change in land use, polluting water or destroying vegetation. Balochistan wildlife protection, Preservation, conservation and Management Act 1996 The Balochistan wildlife protection, Preservation, conservation and Management Act, 1996 was proposed by the forest and wildlife department, Government of Balochistan to replace the existing Balochistan Wildlife Protection Act, 1974. The proposed laws differ significantly from the existing law in the following aspects; 1. An area can be declared a “National Park’ only if it is the property of the Government or right over it. 2. The public is insured access to the National park for recreation, education and research purposes.
All the above mentioned Environment, Forest and Wildlife Acts, Rules and Ordinances in Pakistan highlights the importance of any natural resources and does not allow any development projects to disturb nature and Natural Parks.
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS The Hingol Dam Project will have major significant environmental impacts because it will take place in built-up areas with undisturbed natural environments; it will change the floodplain morphology, or river ecology. Environmental impacts include; (i)Erosion of consolidated soil, (ii) construction of temporary access roads, (iii) influx of construction laborers and waste pollution from labor camps, (iv) population resettlement, and (v)Noise. Environmental mitigation measures have not been formulated nor incorporated into the design to minimize the environmental impacts to acceptable levels. The social impacts will relate to the temporary and permanent loss of farmland for the borrow pits, new embankment, and access roads. The compensation and resettlement plans are not prepared. Positive environmental impacts, both direct and indirect, include (i) improved public safety, Particularly due to embankment strengthening and village platform establishment, which will increase security and stability of the settlements, social cohesion, and protection of livelihoods; (ii) increased grassland and shrub cover, which will reduce erosion; (iii) temporary jobs, supplementary income, and increased economic activities during construction.
CONCLUSIONS The Project will be located in built-up areas with undisturbed natural environments. The screening process identified positive and negative, but have significant adverse, environmental impacts. Environmental impacts were assessed, and mitigation measures not formulated and incorporated into the project design. The Forest Department and WAPDA must incorporate environmental measures required by civil work contractors into the bidding documents to ensure implementation.
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